Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.”
Refugees fleeing Syria and other nations where they are facing unprecedented levels of persecution have this fundamental human right. It is our duty to ensure these rights are fulfilled and protected.
The Jewish people have often had to take refuge across Europe. We have a moral responsibility not to have a repeat of the Evian Conference of 1938, where 31 nations said they could do no more to take Jewish refugees from Germany. Millions could have been saved from the horrors of the Holocaust had European nations opened their borders to refugees.
In Britain, we have much to be proud of in respect to our past acceptance of refugees. Let us not take a step backwards now, and renege on our responsibilities to our fellow human. René Cassin, the Jewish voice for Human Rights in Britain, calls on the British government to respond to this human rights crisis and take in more refugees. We are working in a broad coalition of Jewish organisations to ensure that the Jewish community’s response is significant, coordinated and informed.
We will be supporting the community and various coalitions on the refugee issue, however our focus within the area of Asylum and Detention will remain campaigning for an end to the practice of indefinite detention. René Cassin has been campaigning on the issue of indefinite detention with the Detention Forum for many years. It is appropriate that whilst the spotlight is turned to the refugees not in our country as of yet, we remember and campaign for the rights of those asylum seekers already in the country. A group of people who are often going through further ordeals due to the unjust UK detention system. You can read more here.
You can read about the human rights connection to the current issue here: Refugees in Focus
For a one-stop shop on resources and information see here
To give to World Jewish Relief’s fundraising effort see here